Chopping Block.

I’ve been searching for you in every man that I meet. Unintentionally flexing my wit so they could be impressed enough to select me as their first round lottery pic. I don’t recall sitting on top of broad shoulders that felt like twin towers but I would wage my retirement plan it was the best seat in the house.

I’d refund every relationship I ever forged for 1 Father and son backyard bonding experience over George Foreman Grills so I wouldn’t feel so shortchanged. Anything to get me off the chopping block. Cause I been in the same spot ever since you left. All my other classmates have been authorized to make that trip but you were too busy playing the field so my general permission slip is still blank.

Absent. So technically you never failed at anything except letting me down but you didn’t leave enough of a presence for me to move forward. So as a result I’ve been forced to repeat that lesson every year. Yearning for that stamp of approval no wonder the wound hasn’t sealed.

Spent your days chasing waterfalls, avoiding the lakes the rivers I had to swim upstream through. I was shark bait. Almost lost a fin. You could of braved your way past all odds to locate me but you were never one for adventure. Maybe you suffered from short term memory loss you never remembered me.

But that didn’t stop Marlin from finding Nemo. Go fish. So at school I got clowned. I wanted so desperately to run in your arms on those ‘bring your hero’ to class days even if your hands were empty so that you could feel rich. To hear you brag about me at a track meet or on back to school nights like ‘that’s my boy’ would have been the greatest gift I would have ever received.

Rest in Peace Uncle Phil. Probably the only father that I ever knew. Crazy how 30 minutes was an entire middle passage for such an impressionable mind. Felt he had joint custody the way he picked me up when I was down and brought me to Bel Air.

I was having trouble in my neighborhood but no matter how many times I whistled that cab never came. So instead life stayed flipped. When the credits rolled the remainder of my story stayed upside down. Grandma taught me how to shoot hoops with 1 hip so I had to work extra hard on my pivot.

Sophomore year of college my boss’s girlfriend showed me how to tie my tie before the interview so I keep a well tailored suit because it’s good etiquette and she told me it is to women what lingerie is to us.

“Are you my mother” my favorite children’s book by Dr. Suess because I can relate to looking for answers outta everyone in attempts they’ll bring me closer to you since I been out of the nest. Besides my autobiography too painful I rather view the world from a different page.

It used to take a massive leap for anyone to get over my pride rock, or maybe it was the chip on my shoulder. Thank you. I credit you for it’s construction. I had to retrieve some of the barbwire you left when you fenced me out for the chimney cause I never cared for anyone popping in and out of my life once a year.

But detaching myself is exhausting. The problem with withholding yourself from others is after long enough you’ll no longer be able to feel anything. And I rather feel chills everytime I hear Mufasa roar. Even if I personally didn’t disobey him I wanted to know what it sounded like to hear a father who cared.

Because I would of wandered to the elephant graveyard daily just to experience being punished by a father figure than to have my mother pay bail because she taught me everything but how to be a man. I needed that alpha male. And while I did figure out this whole circle of life you left quite the scar.

I never had a rightful place to the throne so like many abandoned cubs we spend our lives running around stray. Begging to be adopted into a society we were forced to adopt to. And instead of breaking the cycle we escape away from responsibilities and never look back. Hakuna matata. Because it’s hard to go from fatherless to fatherhood.

I’ve had to go back to the drawing board because I’ve been unsuccessful in finding your heir. It’s difficult to find a stern but concerned surrogate to impart lessons about sex, drugs, violence, and the plight of the young black man in America.

Cuba didn’t know how good he had it in that film. I would of traded my room in the suburb to been 1 of the boyz in the the hood if I could of have Furious’ style. Popular consensus: I didn’t have a father and look at me now, I made it. Unpopular opinion: But I shouldn’t of had to.

There is no force more powerful than someone determined to rise. But there is no replacement for being touched by a wanting pair of masculine hands. I call every older man I meet sir, and I can’t tell you the triumph I feel whenever they address me as son.

I wish I never picked up the phone when you called collect so I wouldn’t be haunted by the sound of your voice. Got a ton of pain in your heart this world could never begin to understand so it doesn’t reduce the ache when they call you deadbeat.

It mattered you didn’t tell me I looked handsome on my first picture day. Because although dramatic all I saw was you in my first mug shot. I never told anyone that. My eyes swell anytime I pronounce your name. I can barely get the syllable out without choking.

And when I think about that time I got jumped I can’t help but confess out of no where I thought you would jump out. Just wanted to be saved so badly…by the one person I knew who was superhero but didn’t believe in his own powers. After all these years I still haven’t given up on you. Actually, I’m positive. Even on my sickbed you’ll come rescue me like they all do in all the comics.

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4 thoughts on “Chopping Block.

  1. Wow Jay. You were right, I definitely can relate. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. My father is actually trying to connect with me now and I am having a hard time dealing with it. I will forgive him but I need answers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bro…SON! I feel your pain and strength and determination. People might see this as sad or a sort of swan song but it’s merely the musing of many fatherless men. Emphasis on men because not having a male in your life does not keep us from manhood. Fact. Faith and hope are good things…all of us aren’t so lucky to possess those qualities.

    Like

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